2013-08-29   facebooktwitterrss
Lockerbie North Country Cheviot Sale

September 18th will see one of the most important annual sales for North Country Cheviots to be held at Harrison and Hetherington’s Lockerbie Mart, the sale features in the region of 4,000 ewes, gimmers and ewe lambs.

Also going under the hammer are over 400 Rams, 269 Hill rams and 173 Park Rams. This is both one of the Breed’s biggest sales of the year and one of Lockerbie Mart’s sales of the year. As such it is expected to set a key benchmark in terms of the breed’s current market value.

North Country Cheviot Rams

North Country Cheviot Rams

As a breed, the North Country Cheviot’s popularity is growing from strength to strength. Essentially a Hill sheep, it requires only low inputs, while at the same time producing something that is very saleable for the consumer. As a result, the North Country Cheviot is one of the most versatile breeds in the country, and does well under virtually any of the conditions found in the UK. One of the benefits for breeders is that there has always been a keen demand for all classes of stock - ewes, rams and both ewe and wether lambs.

Commenting in advance of the sale, Alison Brodie, Secretary of the North Country Cheviot Society said:
“We have already held lamb sales in the North which have demonstrated there is a demand for the breed, and judging by the enquires and interest shown already we are hoping for a promising sale.”

“Farmers have had a very difficult 18 months, and as our first major ram sale of the year and our main sale in the south of Scotland it will give a good indication of the market. With quality stock forward it is a sale we all look forward to and as always I know that we will be very well supported by Harrison and Hetherington and their team at Lockerbie. “

The versatility of the breed extends to its crosses. The Cheviot ewe crossed with the Bluefaced Leicester produces the Cheviot Mule. The result is very much in demand. The Cheviot Mule’s carcase is considered by many to be of superior conformation and finish to other mule crosses.

Crossing NCC ewes directly with terminal sires such as Suffolk, Texel, Beltex and Charollais also works very well, not just for the quality of the prime lambs, but also for the superb first cross breeding females.

The NC Cheviot ram, too, has proved his worth in crossing programmes, especially with other hill breeds. The cross lambs produced have the kind of carcase required to meet today’s market specification, are consistently of good conformation and can finish at all weights.

Lamb finishers, too, are still finding that premium prices are paid for North Country Cheviot lambs during the winter and spring. Buyers come from all over the country to the annual sales of lambs bred on the hills of Scotland. This Lockerbie sale is one of those key events.

Commenting in advance of the Sale Michael Stewart, auctioneer at Harrison and Hetherington said:
“The demand for the North Country Cheviot is increasing, especially into the North of England and Wales. In today’s market, quality and consistency is important and this is a breed sought after for breeding stock or as lambs for finishing. As one of our foremost sales of the year at Lockerbie Mart, it attracts buyers and breeders from the length and breadth of the country.”


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